Spending a few minutes with the elderly in the house can actually benefit in two ways – overall good health of the elderly and reduced expenditure due to avoidable health problems, said experts during an event to mark the International Day for Older Persons, on Friday.
“Loneliness is a key factor for mental illness, which also brings physical illness. If the elderly are given time or are engaged in some work they (elderly) feel self-respect for themselves and keep away from mental illnesses such as depression,” said Dr Abhishek Shukla, Head of the Aastha Centre for Geriatric Medicine and Hospice, where a programme was held on International Day for Older Persons (Oct 1).
“Similarly, good oral/dental health will keep a lot of other illnesses such as poor digestion away. Youngsters should spend some time with the elderly instead of spending on medicines for them (elderly),” said Dr Pooran Chand, HoD, prosthodontics at the King George’s Medical University, addressing an event for elderly patients.
“If the young generation has the energy to work, the elderly have the experience. So, use their experience and keep the elderly busy for their good health,” said prof Pooran Chand.
During a programme at Aastha Hospice, several events including yoga, tambola and quiz were held to make the elders feel happy. Volunteers, who reached early in the morning, remained busy grooming the senior citizens, giving them haircuts and shaves. “The elderly should live healthier, purposeful and longer lives and they also have the potential to contribute to the younger generation in old age,” said Dr Shukla.
“There are medicines available but we should not make the stomachs of the elderly a medical store. Instead, give them a chance to live an active and productive life as long as they wish,” said Prof Pooran Chand.